Three bean salad… a simple, classic cookout dish. I can’t get enough of this make-ahead salad!
I’m not sure when I switched from being a three bean salad hater to a three bean salad lover, but I’m glad I gave this classic cookout dish another try! My mom always makes her three bean salad with green beans, wax beans, and kidney beans, so naturally, that’s what I do too. What I love the most about this simple side dish is that you can make it ahead. In fact, I highly recommend doing so, as the flavor gets better over time.
This recipe is one of the few things I ever make with canned vegetables. There’s something about the texture of canned veggies that just isn’t my favorite. But I think the softness of the canned green beans and wax beans really make this dish. If canned veggies aren’t your thing, try frozen… or even cook your own green and wax beans and use them here. I use frozen veggies in this dish frequently. Just make sure to thaw them first!
As I’ve made this three bean salad more often over the years, I’ve slowly adapted it *just a bit* from my mom’s recipe. I go heavier on the pepper than she does (but that’s true with about anything I make… I heart black pepper!), usually make a little less dressing and reduce the sugar, AND (game changer) add fresh herbs when I have them on hand! Fresh dill is my FAVE in this dish, but parsley and chives are also excellent. A little bit of chopped fresh herbs adds a little extra pop that we love. Totally optional, but highly recommended.
Speaking of totally optional but highly recommended… be sure to enter the #CookoutWeek 2017 giveaway, happening NOW! Lots of great prizes and an easy entry!
one year ago: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
two years ago: Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa
three years ago: Tabbouleh
four years ago: Pretzel Rolls
five years ago: Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal
six years ago: Strawberry Chocolate Coconut Pancakes
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Mom's Three Bean Salad
from my mom 🙂
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup oil (a light olive, canola, grapeseed, etc.)
- 3/4 cup sugar (can also be cut down to 1/2 cup if desired)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 – 15 ounce can green beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if possible) – frozen, thawed green beans are also great here too
- 1 – 15 ounce can wax beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if possible) – frozen, thawed wax beans also work well too
- 1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if possible)
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2-1 cup green pepper, minced
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, optional – try dill, parsley, or chives
Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, and pepper in a medium bowl. Fold in green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, onion, and green pepper. Stir in chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to marry.
In my opinion, this salad tastes best the next day. There will be extra liquid so you could reduce the vinegar and oil down to 1/3 cup if desired, or add an extra can of beans. Or just leave as-is… that’s what I always do! Enjoy!
10 thoughts on “Mom’s Three Bean Salad #CookoutWeek”
Yum!! I pretty much only have this dish at BBQs and other family reunions, but I don’t know why I don’t make it at home. This looks delicious!
thank you, sues! i don’t make special side dishes often enough at home either.
I sometimes add black beans also and more pepper, plus use several types of vinegar.
good to know. thanks mom! 🙂
I love cold salads in the summer–they are SO perfect. Not only cool and refreshing BUT also ready when you’re ready to eat.
I always head straight to the bean salad at a picnic buffet.
it’s so yummy, isn’t it?
Funny – I totally used to hate three bean salad too and now I love it! This sounds wonderful – huge yay for the fresh herbs!
thanks, ashley! fresh herbs make things SO much better.